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MetaVR Visuals in F-16 Simulation

MetaVR Virtual Reality Scene Generator™ (VRSG™) is used in F-16 simulators at multiple U.S. Air Force, Air Force Reserves, and Air National Guard training facilities in the U.S. and abroad.

Real-time VRSG rendering of two Belgian F-16 entities in flight over MetaVR’s virtual Kleine-Brogel Air Base, Flanders, Belgium.
Real-time MetaVR VRSG rendering of two Belgian F-16 entities in flight over  virtual Kleine-Brogel Air Base, Flanders, Belgium.

AFRC F-16C aircrew training simulators

The Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) recently acquired 20 new VRSG licenses for four new F-16C Multi Task Trainers (MTTs). Two AFRC F-16C Block 30 MTTs were installed this year at Homestead ARB, FL, and two at Fort Worth NAS JRB, TX, supplementing two previously delivered simulators for each site. These new systems then provide two, four-ship AFRC F-16C Block 30 MTTs with VRSG at each site. Geospecific terrain with airfields of Homestead ARB and Fort Worth NAS JRB with custom runway elevation data to match FAA airfield runway model, runway lights, geospecific control tower, hangars and other geotypical buildings, signs, light poles, and geotypical volumetric trees were delivered as part of the delivery.

The F-16C MTT is comprised of a cockpit, an instructor operator station, a 360° field-of-view (FOV) visual display and projection system, VRSG with MetaVR’s high-fidelity geospecific terrain and extensive libraries of 3D content, an electronic warfare (EW) threat server, and a host computer/power equipment cabinet. Each F-16C MTT can be operated as a standalone device or linked together to provide four-ship training within the facility or via ARCNET/DTOC/DMO network for participating in distributed exercises.

The purpose of the ARFC F-16C MTT program is to provide high-fidelity trainers configured to the latest F-16C Block 30 or Block 40 aircraft and capable of training AFRC F-16C pilots in mission qualification training, continuation training, and mission readiness training tasks.

AFRL F-16 simulators

The Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) Warfighter Readiness Research Division 711th Human Performance Wing (711HPW/RHA) at Wright Patterson Air Force Base has long used VRSG in training research simulators. The 711HPW/RHA uses 157 VRSG licenses in multiple testbed programs both in the USA and in Europe, ranging from the MQ-1/MQ-9 Remotely Piloted Aircraft simulator (PRINCE) to the JTAC Training and Rehearsal System (JTAC TRS).

Most recently the 711HPW/RHA purchased and installed 15 VRSG licenses for F-16 simulators. These simulators are capable of networking with other AFRL simulators for joint missions, such as the ones described above.

For several years, 26 VRSG licenses have been used in the 711HPW/RHA’s F-16 Experimental Deployable Tactics Trainer (X-DTT) simulators.  

555th Fighter Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot, operates an F-16 simulator, at Aviano Air Base, Italy. The multi-channel synchronized view is driven by MetaVR VRSG. Photo: U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Matthew Lotz/Released.)

The F-16 X-DTTs are deployable, medium fidelity, in-theater training systems for keeping the warfighter proficient between missions. Each simulator consists of an F-16 Block 30 aircraft shell with the actual F-16 Operational Flight Program (OFP) and high-fidelity aircraft stick and throttle. These simulators provide the essential F-16 cockpit switches on a touch-screen LCD in front of the pilot. Each simulator has six projected views in addition to a sensor view. Each system can be used as a standalone training tool or networked with other simulators to participate in larger exercises. The simulators are primarily based at the Aviano Air Base, Italy.

Visual system upgrade for EPAF F-16 simulators

MetaVR was recently chosen to be the image generation supplier for the 309th SMXG European Participating Air Forces (EPAF) program to upgrade the visual systems of Belgian and Portuguese F-16 simulators.

The upgrade calls for up to 40 MetaVR VRSG licenses, and two Terrain Tools licenses. In addition to supplying round-earth terrain of Europe and CONUS++, MetaVR will create and deliver five geospecific terrain insets (10 cm, 20 cm) of areas of interest in Belgium and model two geospecific Belgian airfields (Florennes Air Base, Kleine Brogel Air Base) and the Monte Real Air Base in Portugal.

The simulators will be integrated into full mission training (FMT) capability systems used for takeoff/landing, procedural response training, air-to-air and air-to ground tactical training (including weapon employment), and in customized pilot scenario training configured for use in real-time, immersive environments.

ANG F-16 simulators for new Buckley Air Force Base training center

In fall 2018, Buckley Air Force Base, Aurora, CO, will unveil Air National Guard (ANG) F-16 four-ship training systems in its new training center. These simulators, which use 90 MetaVR VRSG licenses, will have 8-screen cockpit displays with native 4K (4096 x 2160) resolution, for an immersive FOV that renders the OTW virtual environment with near 20/20 visual acuity. The systems have been relocated from the Vermont Air National Guard facilities at the Burlington International Airport, and are currently undergoing upgrading and integration prior to delivery to Buckley AFB. The F-16 training facility will be housed in the newly renovated Hangar 909. Once the new training facility opens, the simulators will be used train F-16 ANG pilots on F-16 Block 30 operations and exercises.

MetaVR recently built virtual terrain of Buckley AFB and Greater Denver, from 15 cm per-pixel imagery of the airfield area blended into 1 mpp underlying imagery of MetaVR's CONUS++ terrain. The terrain's elevation was built with interpolated NED 1/3 (10 m) and underlying CONUS++ DTED1. Airfield culture includes the runways, runway lights and signage, a geospecific control tower and 24 other geospecific buildings, fuel storage tanks, water towers, radars, geotypical volumetric trees, and light points. Geospecific culture models were created from publicly available photos and geolocated on the terrain. This terrain was built with the latest version of MetaVR Terrain Tools for Esri® ArcGIS®. Culture models were placed with Scenario Editor. Surrounding the modeled airfield is terrain of Greater Denver, comprised of 439,379 geospecific building models which were generated with Esri CityEngine®, extruded and textured from OpenStreetMap (OSM) data. The terrain, including the nearby Rocky Mountains, has over 4.5 million trees. For simulating night scenes, the terrain contains thousands of cultural light points of the airfield and Greater Denver.

F-16 network training center at Luke Air Force Base

Luke Air Force Base (AFB) in Glendale, AZ, uses 53 MetaVR VRSG licenses in their F-16 full-mission training simulators at the base's Network Training Center facility. Each of the four dome-based systems contains a full cockpit replica of an actual F-16. For each F-16 cockpit trainer, the VRSG multichannel visual system includes 10 out-the-window (OTW) channels and 2 sensor channels. Luke AFB is a major training base of the Air National Guard’s Air Education and Training Command (AETC) for providing advanced flight training to fighter pilots.

Real-time VRSG rendering of airfield structures on MetaVR's virtual Luke AFB. Detail of the dome display of an F-16 X-DTT simulator at AFRL using MetaVR multi-channel visual systems.
MetaVR's virtual terrain of Luke AFB.

As part of the delivery, MetaVR built and delivered high-fidelity geospecific 3D terrain of Luke AFB, to include the airfield and the Barry M. Goldwater Range (BMGR) with geolocated 3D models of all range targets. The terrain, built from natural color imagery, is in MetaVR's round-earth Metadesic format from natural color imagery. Imagery of the area of Arizona around Luke AFB is 1-meter per-pixel (mpp) resolution, BMGR is 0.50 mpp and the Luke airfield with its immediate on-base surroundings is .30 mpp resolution.

F-16 simulators for automatic collision avoidance

Using MetaVR visuals, ZedaSoft, Inc. built delivered a dual-dome reconfigurable F-16 simulator system to Lockheed Martin Advanced Development Programs (ADP) group in support of ACAT/FRRP. The ACAT Fighter Risk Reduction Project program, with a team that includes U.S Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, develops collision avoidance technologies for fighter/attack aircraft that would reduce the risk of ground and mid-air collisions. This phase tests automatic collision avoidance technologies between USAF fighter aircraft.

The dual-dome solution provides two F-16C Reconfigurable Cockpit Systems (RCS) in high- resolution large field-of-view display and projection systems.

As part of the system MetaVR provided a 3D terrain database comprised of satellite terrain imagery for the entire continental United States (CONUS) at 1-meter per-pixel resolution with higher resolution insets for Nellis Air Force Base (AFB), Edwards AFB, and Fort Worth Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base (NASJRB) areas.

MetaVR VRSG real-time simulation scenes of runway at virtual Ft. Worth NASJRB, and geospecific culture at the virtual Nellis Air Force Base.
MetaVR VRSG virtual airfield at Nellis Air Force Base. MetaVR VRSG close-up of some of the cultural features on virtual Nellis Air Force Base.
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